Actus Reus and Mens Rea

  • Created by: jesskeayy
  • Created on: 02-05-19 11:25
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  • Actus Reus + Mens Rea
    • Actus Reus
      • Voluntary and positive conduct, proof that D did ‘x’.
      • Causation: must demonstrate that the result was caused by D's conduct/omission.
        • If the link between D's act/omission cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, there will be no conviction
        • Factual: Did D's conduct/omission cause the result?
          • But for test
            • But for D's actions, would the result have occurred? If not, no causation.
              • R v White
              • R v Dyson: victim died sooner with D's intervention. Factual causation met
        • Legal: Was D's conduct/omission a substantial, blameworthy and operating cause?
          • Legal cause must be 'substantial', must be more than de minimis
            • Slightly trifling, negligible, insignificant
            • Must be blameworthy
              • R v Dalloway: blameworthy conduct not the legal cause of death
            • Cause must be operative.  Conduct must be a significant cause of the result. Chain must not be broken
              • Nous Actus Interviniens- Break in chain
                • R v Empress: can come about through: natural events, actions of V, acts of a third party
                • Natural acts only break the chain if they are unforeseen:
                  • Hart [1986]
                • Intervention form V
                  • Foreseeability: R v Roberts
                  • Voluntariness: R v Kennedy
                  • Thin skull rule: Hayward
                  • Reasonableness: R v Blaue
                • Medical treatment
                  • R v Jordan: wrong medication prescribed
                  • R v Smith: doctors mistreatment of V was not the operating cause of death, so D still liable.
      • Omissions
        • reluctance to impose liability for omission to act
          • Liability occurs where: 1. offence is capable of being committed by omission. 2. duty to act. 3. breach of duty to act
        • Airedale NHS Trust v Bland
        • 1. Statutory duty. 2. Official duty. 3. Contractual duty. 4.familial duty to act. 5. duty (voluntary assumption of care). 6. duty (creation of a dangerous situation).
          • 1. R v Dytham
          • 3. R v Pittwood
          • 4. R v Gibbons and Proctor
          • 5. R v Nicholls (1874) R v Istan [1893]
          • 6. R v Miller (awareness)
    • Mens Rea
      • Intention
        • Blameworthiness for the crime
          • R v Moloney [1985] intention given its ordinary meaning
        • Foresight is not intention
          • Hancock and Shankland [1986]
            • Hales [2005] motive is not intention
              • Cunliffe v Goodman [1950] direct intention
            • Mohan [1976] means to an end
        • Oblique intention
          • Woolin[1999] virtual certainty
            • Dividing line between recklessness and intention
              • Oblique intention is about risk. Direct intention is about purpose, not risk.
      • Recklessness
        • Subjective- D's reckless if he foresees the risk and goes on to run it
          • Size of risk is irrelevant; Brady [2006]
          • How much the risk is considered is irrelevant; Parker [1977]
        • Objective- D's reckless is he runs a risk that a reasonable person would have foreseen
        • Subjective:   R v Cunningham[1957]           R v G and R [2003]
          • Objective: R v Caldwell [1981]
      • Coincidence of Mr and AR
        • D must hold requisite MR at the time the act is carried out
          • Continuing act approach: Fagan [1969]
          • Omissions approach: Miller [1983]
          • Transferred malice: Latimer (1886)

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